Marina is an Austrian born World Traveler. I came across her blog where she took the approach of interviewing people from all over the world and asking them in depth questions about their life, their home country and Stereotypes that people hold about their homeland. I find her style to be interesting and glad to feature her.
What is your name?
Where are you from and where do you currently reside?
I’m from Austria, currently living in Spain.
What do you do for a living?
Right now I’m working for Airbnb in Spain. However, this job is just a means to gather a bit more money for my future travels. I have my own blog and I’m writing a book now, working towards being self-employed and financially independent in the future. I´m also still studying in Austria. However, I’m taking a small break for now.
What countries have you traveled to and which was your favorite?
I’ve traveled to South America and a lot of European countries so far. In South America I visited Chile, the Easter island (which belong to Chile but I like to mention it as it is such a different environment) and Brazil. In Europe I’ve already been to Germany, Switzerland, England, France, Spain, Italy, Greece, Slovenia, Slovakia and Hungary. The country I liked most was Brazil. I went to Buzios and Rio there and especially loved Buzios. This city has such beautiful beaches and people there were amazing as well.
Do you prefer to travel alone or with someone and why?
I like to travel alone, because the times I did learned a lot about myself. If you´re alone you depend on yourself and can’t rely on anyone else. And if you don´t want to stay alone you need to be open, go towards people and make new friends. However, I like travelling with my friends or my boyfriend as well. I feel like if you’re travelling with someone it just brings you closer together which is a really beautiful experience.
How would you describe your life before you started traveling?
I would describe myself as shier and more concerned what people would think of me than I do now. Before starting to travel I already was open-minded, I already was more or less independent. But travelling enhanced these two things even more.
How has traveling changed your life?
Travelling has changed myself in a way I would have never imagined. Especially living in a country for a longer time. I lived in Bordeaux, France for half a year. Now I´m living in Barcelona , Spain. Especially living alone in France changed me a lot, as I was confronted with a completely new environment I was going to stay in for half a year. I started to think a lot of what I really want to do in life and my priorities shifted like I would never have imagined. But not only France changed my life, travelling in general did. The people I met did. I´m just always fascinated about the connections you can built with certain people. In every place I stayed a bit longer so far I at least found one or two people I feel remarkably connected with. People that inspire me, people I didn´t even know for long, but I felt if I had known them for years. For me, that´s the real beauty about travelling. Those people you will never forget, those people you will always somehow stay in touch with. For me, that´s the most beautiful experience anyone can ever make.
What is your favorite aspect of traveling?
Meeting new people and getting to know different cultures. I find it so crucial to know more about a different culture, to get away from prejudices we might have – even just unconsciously. It really helps to talk to people to gain a better understanding of their culture and their believes. Learning another language is definitely something I love about travelling as well – as well as being in nature. I love to travel to places that are quiet, calm and just surrounded my beautiful landscape, the mountains, the sea, the desert. That’s something I don´t get to see every day even though I wish I did.
Where is your next destination?
My next big destination is India, where I will stay for three months. Before I will go on some smaller trips to Portugal and Czech.
Have there been any moments while traveling when you felt in danger or uncomfortable? How did you get away from it?
There was a time I was supposed to sleep at a friends cousins place in Chile and it was already really late. It was dark on the streets and I still had to find the house. When I entered the bus to go to their place, the bus driver told me to sit in the front seat next to him as it would be dangerous to sit in the back. There I internally started to panic. I had no service, I did not know if someone would pick me up from the bus station. When I hopped off the bus, the driver told me, again, I should be careful as this area was not a good area. Luckily, nothing happened and I got picked up from the station right away. So, I was just lucky there I guess.
Another time I felt quite uncomfortable was on the Easter island. There I was biking along the seaside, when it suddenly started to rain so heavily I wouldn’t even drive anymore. I hopped off my bike and hid in a cave nearby. When I entered it, I started to realize that bones were laying around all over the place, even animal skulls. The cave was separated by a towel which I would not look past. I was so scared someone else would live there. I didn’t even take a look, I just prayed for the storm to be over soon. I was trapped in that cave and felt really anxious. There were clothes laying around, also some water bottles and vegetables. So someone was living there for sure and I just had entered his home. Luckily the storm stopped eventually and I ran out of the cave and biked away as quickly as possible. Again, I was just lucky. I honestly don´t know what I would have done if someone had been in this cave. So far, I could really rely on my luck – and common sense most of the times.
What pre-cautions do you take for the safety of your property and yourself?
My properties, my money and camera I usually lock in a locker if I am staying in a hostel and start discovering a place, or I leave them in my travel backpack if I´m staying with a couchsurfer. I never take a lot of money with me if I know I won´t need it. And try to be aware of where my money and my phone are all the time. For myself, I just use common sense. I try not to go out on the streets at night too late if I´m alone and in a completely new country, I usually check my way before I go somewhere and I try to travel during the day.
What advice would you give to someone aspiring to become a frequent traveler?
Don´t be afraid to travel! Just try it out for once, you will soon fall in love with it. I know so many people who are afraid to travel by themselves as well, but deep down really want to try it out. Here I would just say: Start to travel with a friend! It´s always easier to start with someone you know and you always meet new people on the way you can keep travelling with if your friend goes home earlier. That way you never feel alone, are surrounded by amazing people but can enjoy travelling by yourself as well. Don´t be afraid, don´t think too much. Just buy a ticket and go. Everything else will fall into place later.